Talking Hair with Norris Cole
Officially, HEAT Guard Norris Cole is listed at 6’2”, but thanks to his hightop fade haircut, he gains at least another three inches. Not that it provides a quantifiable, strategic advantage on the court, but at the very least, he looks stylish when he’s draining that jumper or clamping down on the opponent’s point guard.
His hightop fade started during his college days at Cleveland State. “The point behind it (the haircut) was I wanted to do something different for my senior year," said Cole. "I wanted to have a standout senior year. My dad had one, so I tried it. I was playing well, and I didn't want to cut it.”
When he was acquired by the HEAT in the 2011 Draft, he realized it was a time for a change. Becoming a pro meant changes for him in every part of his life. His role on the team changed from being a leader to the new kid on the block. His address changed from Cleveland to Miami. And so he changed his haircut to reflect the new chapter in his life. Out went the beloved hightop fade and in came a smooth, highly efficient, low drag, aerodynamic trimmed haircut.
“Everyone seemed to start to like it, but I cut it off. It was time for a new phase, the next phase of my life,” said Cole. “I cut it off, got a fresh cut and a fresh start. I came to Miami ready to work.”
He focused on his rookie season and appeared in 65 regular season games, averaging 6.8 points and ranked among the NBA rookie leaders in free throw percentage (8th) and assists (12th). But when the HEAT reached The Finals, it was time to bring back the magical haircut. “I knew I wanted to grow it back again, so I grew it back before the 2012 Finals,” said Cole.
Since then Cole has rocked his fade with pride, noting, “You’ve got to be confident to get a haircut like this.” But the upkeep on his unique coif has to remain on schedule, lest it become unkempt. Every two weeks or so, Cole’s hightop fade is renewed and kept fresh. According to Cole, his hair fits his personality, makes him feel different and sets him apart from the crowd.
Natalia Lopez-Thismon contributed to this story.